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new to me blog: a golden afternoon

I am so excited to introduce you to Bonnie Rush from a golden afternoon. I met Bonnie at Alt Summit but have been a fan of her blog for awhile. I was a little giddy I must admit when we met face to face. She is a SoCal blogger in San Diego, homeschools her children and has the most lovely blog posts on homesteading, gardening, cooking and teaching. Oh, and she's a fellow thrifter too! It is the kind of blog that makes you smile when you read it. Oh, and her Instagram feed is one of my all time favorites, @agoldenafternoon. Did I mention Bonnie and her family are a foster family too? Okay, I'll stop gushing and let you meet Bonnie for yourself...

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1.  I have to admit, I have blog envy when I read your blog. I love love love it, everything from homeschooling to your garden, to your recipes. Have you found the magic formula for getting it all done? Or do you pick and choose what you focus on daily?

Haha.  I would love the magic formula!  Send it to me now, I’ll pay for the overnight shipping charges!

In all seriousness, I think we each have certain priorities in our lives.  For me, homeschooling just happens to allow me the freedom to explore everything I love under the umbrella of school.  Our work in the garden, new recipes, art projects, and cozy moments reading literature under the covers, are all great reasons I decided to home school.  In everything I do, I strive to do it with purpose. 

 Good time management is definitely the key to success for me, but I am always reminding myself that when I feel I have failed, I am placing that burden on my own shoulders.  I am told I set the bar too high for myself  (says a person who’s name rhymes with "musband").  This might be true, but I just love to be busy and am constantly inspired to create.  I use a crazy amount of sticky notes to remind myself to do things.  I keep 2 journals by my bed.  One is for inspiration that comes to mind in an instant.  I keep it with me all the time, especially if I am reading or watching something where I might get an idea or be inspired.  The other journal is for writing lists.  I live the life of lists!  I have list for school, food/shopping, contact/email, future events, payment/bill reminders, and even lists to remind me to encourage people.  I’ve learned that if I am not good at something, I need to find ways to be better.  Lists help me do that.  I am not an encourager by nature, so I have to remind myself to be better at it.  I’m not even joking. Haha.

Another thing that makes my day work well is to stay away from TV.  I like to seize every moment.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I love movies and will also watch a TV series on Netflix (currently Parks and Rec which we are nearing the end of…sniff sniff), but we don’t watch live TV with commercials and we STAY AWAY FROM NEWS!  My husband always says important information will always make it to us and it ALWAYS does.  This also frees up our minds to not carry the constant burden of discouragement about what’s happening all around the world.  There is certainly a time for prayer and a time for compassion, but that doesn’t need to be every night at 10pm with your local newscaster where you learn everyone that was murdered that day and how many children drowned in their swimming pools.  It’s just not the life for me. 

All of that crazy planning being said, my husband and I have always sought a good work/life balance.  I have a penciled in schedule for blogging, but when my best friend needs some hugs and encouragement, I am quick to erase anything related blogging on my schedule.  If my husband needs to talk or just wants to relax and watch a movie, I am there…schedule erased.  When difficulties are present, I also bust out the eraser.  We just had a little 4 year-old foster girl here for a month and I had to be at peace that my priorities were not my blog schedule.  I would love to crank out awesome posts every day, but that’s not the life I live.  We all have to find that balance and be at peace with it.  I’m still working on that.

2. Why did you originally start a blog? Was it hard to do? Would you do it again?

I started my blog after being encouraged by a friend to do so.  She was asking me to do cooking lessons by video so the blog was a compromise.  After a while, it became easy to share recipes through my blog with friends.  In a selfish way, it saved me time in writing recipes down over and over.  I’m the type of person that likes to give something when it’s requested.  Now, I can just point someone to the blog post and I can rest in my previous work of writing it.  Eventually, I started adding more pieces of my life so that now my blog is a more well-rounded (hopefully!), including a lot more than just recipes. 

Learning to do wordpress on my own was a little frustrating at first but that’s really because it took much longer than I thought! Haha.  Learning to code was a fun challenge but eventually I switched to more of a plugin-centered format.  I’m so glad I started my blog because of the amazing readers and bloggers I’ve been able to meet along the way.  The community is really special.  Part of me wishes I didn’t have one more thing to do, but I really enjoy the process and the people!

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Thank you Bonnie so much for participating in this series! I loved your thoughts on time management. I am not a TV watcher during the day either, and I think it helps me get so much more done. But I loved the point of penciling in things, so that I can just take an eraser to it if need be. I love that you are a list maker, and that you remind yourself to encourage others. That's such a wonderful idea, and if I didn't think your heart was huge before, I definitely think it is now. Go check out a golden afternoon, you can thank me later. :)

new to me blog: a pair of pears

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Jamie of A Pair of Pears had one of my all time favorite business cards at Alt, it was a square letterpress with the most adorable lettering. Which makes sense since she focuses on design and letterpress. Her blog header alone is fabulous. A Pair of Pears is one of my favorite daily reads now, and it's extra special since she's in SoCal too.

I'm so excited Jamie was up for a little Q & A so we can get to know the person behind the blog. 

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1. What is the hardest part about having a blog?

The hardest part is probably posting regularly. I used to have posts written ahead of time so I could just schedule them, but at some point things got crazy and I fell behind and haven't been able to get back in that groove. So since I hardly ever have anything prepared ahead of time (unless its a DIY or something that takes much more planning) I constantly feel like I have to hurry and get something posted for that day. And let's be honest, sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say. It works much better when I can slow down and enjoy the process of putting together a post. 

My favorite part about running a blog is being able to share what I love: my family, my work, the things that inspire me. It's always makes my day when readers comment or email me saying how much they enjoyed a particular post or were able use something I did. 

2. Where do you find inspiration for A Pair of Pears?

Like most people, I'm a big fan of Pinterest. It's an awesome resource for inspiration.  Also I get a lot of inspiration just in everyday life. Literally I have ideas pop in my head while I'm blow drying my hair. My brain never turns off; which can sometime be a problem. I'm also really lucky to have fun and creative friends that are always throwing out great ideas. 

Jamie, I am  being dead serious when I say some of my best ideas come when I'm blow drying my hair!! Thank you for sharing today! And be sure you check out A Pair of Pears.

new to me blog: Peck Life

This series is starting to become a favorite of mine, I hope you enjoy them as well. Today's blog is by the really sweet Emily Peck, called Peck Life. I met Emily at a round table discussion one morning where we were all sitting around discussing staying true to our smaller blogs, and managing them with integrity. She had so many great points to share with us, and I was pretty excited when I ran into her another day for a workshop. She's a mom to one, with another on the way. Her photos and aesthetic are awesome, and trust me, you'll smile after you visit her blog.

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Let's get to know Emily a little better....

1. Why did you start to blog originally? And has the reason changed?

I started blogging in 2008 as a way to document life with my husband {knowing that we would probably start trying for a baby in the next year}. After our first son was born in December 2009, I began blogging as a way to document him. In 2011, I began taking the blog more seriously, created an editorial calendar, posted 4-5 times per week, and expanded the topics I talked about. All along, I've blogged because I love doing it and it's a creative outlet for me. I don't make much money on it but my goal is not to have a huge blog, just to have something I can be proud of.

2. What's your favorite part about having a blog?

The amazing community of bloggers and "real-life" friends I've met through blogging has been incredible. Seattle has a tight knit community of bloggers and I wouldn't know any of these wonderful women if it weren't for my blog! My other favorite part is that it allows me to organize my thoughts, practice my writing, and get to know myself better through what I post. :)

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Thank you Emily for sharing a little bit of who you are and why you blog with us! Head on over to Peck Life and see for yourself how adorable everything is. Also, her blog roll has great blog links of her favorite blogs.